* Posts by 100113.1537

255 posts • joined 7 Jul 2009

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Apple pollutes data about you to protect your privacy. But it might not be enough

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Re: The third way...

"(Who is going to say "no" to that??)

Me, I say no to it all the time.

What is the point of "location services" to me as a user? I can still get a GPS fix for the times I need it (placing myself on a map, for example) and what else do I want? Does it take longer to get a GPS fix with these services turned off? Maybe, but a few seconds is hardly a big deal. I'm not a tinfoil hat wearer trying to minimize my data footprint, but why should I bother with services that are no use to me?

I am sure other people want these services and if that is what they want then giving Google their location details is the price they pay for the service. You could say that "uninformed consumers" are not being given a choice, but since it asks each time I think you have to be a bit more nuanced and say "uncaring consumers".

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Liberal MPs paid AU$2,500 a YEAR to donor for electoral software licences

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@Risk

A single seat licence for @Risk would be about that (in AUD) terms annually and I've seen much bigger prices for scheduling software in mining and construction. Specialised software is not cheap as there aren't be any economies of scale (how many people are actually going to be buying this software?).

And really, $2,500 for a $500,000 donation? Not much of a kick-back. I am sure if you look at the constituency offices you will find a much bigger set of kick-backs from all parties - office rents will be much more than this per year and in the UK this has been a big deal for the Labour party "renting" office space from union donors. I am sure plenty of "donors" would rent a bit of office space out at inflated rents in return for a bit of a bung.

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Mars One puts 100 Red Planet corpses colonists through fresh tests

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The real cost -

- is bringing them back.

The NASA $100B is based on sending lots and lots of fuel to get the peeps (in their ship) back up from Mars. Mars One makes the explicit point that they don't have a plan for this - which is why El Reg refers to them as 'corpses'. As gruesome as it sounds, it costs a lot less to keep re-supplying the colonists with stuff to stay alive than it does to bring them home. Still a lot more than $6B I suppose, but hey, these are TV numbers we are talking about here.

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Google-backed solar electricity facility sets itself on fire

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Re: Is it just me?

Neat - if you not a bird. The US Fish and Wildlife service investigated this plant and there were hundreds of bird carcasses collected from under the mirrors, including one Peregrine falcon. Most of them are not killed outright, but it doesn't take much scorching of flight feathers to bring down a bird, and then it is easy pickings for the ground-based predators.

Turns out all solar farms are a problem for birds; Water birds regularly mistake the 'normal' solar collection panels as ponds, crash on landing and can't take off again. Nice to know if you are a coyote or a fox....

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Gas-powered solar...

Actually, the Ivanpah plant uses gas to warm the water in the boilers so that when the sun shines, it can get to boiling point quickly. I don't know how much this is accounted for in the 'solar output' calculation, but as a carbon footprint issue, this is not really what it claims to be.

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Re: Predicting Problems

"And blasting a jet out of the sky would need the mirrors to track it for minutes. Pretty infeasible given the speed with which those mirrors move; not that that would bother a Hollywood script writer."

Have you watched any Hollywood movies lately? This is way more feasible than most plots.

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

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Re: Snake Oil

Thanks for the sober reflection. I could envisage a door system to allow passenger entry without an airlock for the pod, but that doesn't really change the throughput issues significantly. I think that this is a freight only technology unless you are going to run very long distances. And is there that much money in freight?

I was also wondering about stopping - the PR test had a water brake which looks fun the open air......

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Woz says 'Jobs started Apple for money' – then says it must pay 50% tax like he does

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Re: He didn't say that. Another made up story.

Yeah, but if what he said isn't interesting, then the journos just have to make something up don't they? I mean, its not like the journos actually have any moral requirement to tell the truth is it - their job is just to wind you up enough to make you click on the link or write a comment....... oops!

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Is iOS 9.3 Apple's worst ever update? First it bricks iThings, now Safari is busted

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Re: Safari's busted?

Yes, Safari has got really slow (and crashes a lot now). I put it down to web pages being so full of crap these days, but maybe an iPad2 just can't run iOS9x.

I wish I had not upgraded (from 7!), but you can't stop the nagging and one day I hit "Install now" instead of "Install later"..... Have managed to avoid doing that for 9.3 so far (and I think it has stopped nagging now while they fix it).

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Middle-aged US bloke pleads guilty to iCloud celeb nude photo hack

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Re: Middle aged?

"UK life expectancy should be dropping soon due to bad diets and decimation of national heath care."

People have been saying that for over 10 years now, but there is no evidence......

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BOFH: This laptop has ceased to be. And it's pub o'clock soon

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Schroedinger's laptop...

... has to be the best description of web services I have ever heard. They "work" until you look at them and then are absolute toast once you lift the lid. Quite brilliant.

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Panasonic Toughbooks are so tough they can smoke

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Made in 2011 - and still going!

It sort of says a lot that it has taken until now to identify a potential problem and have to issue a recall for batteries made 4-5 years ago! Most notebooks (and their batteries) would have given up long before now. My sister-in-law is still using her CF9 (model before this, bought in Jan 2011). You can't deny that they are tough!

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Don't you see these simple facts? Destroy Facebook and restore human Liberty

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Yeah, yeah, FaceBook bad...

But that wasn't the point of the article. The article was about "net neutrality" campaigners who are actually nothing of the sort. It was the people who campaigned to get a law passed in India (which deprived very very poor people of access to something the rest of take for granted) who were the target - in this case competitors to FaceBook, but that was purely incidental to the point of the article.

As as long time Compuserve user (in the days before ISPs) I was very happy to have the few channels that they offered because is was better than nothing. That is what we are talking about here - better than nothing. As soon as they have better options, Indians will use those.

But hey, if you want to pile in on FaceBook, go ahead - Orlowski started that in his second sentence - hardly the language of a paid hack!

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Bone-dry British tech SMBs miss out on UK.gov cash shower

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As someone who has sat on review panels for "industry-directed" research grants (in the the US), I can vouch for the almost completely academic make-up of these panels. There is rarely any consideration of what the route to market would be - and this was not (at the time) addressed as one of the selection criteria. I myself was an 'academic" at the time, although since I was working in IP I at least understood one aspect of getting to market.

I have since then worked far more on the delivery side of my field and have somewhat irregularly been involved in government efforts to promote innovation and I have to say that they are universally a waste of money. The one thing you can't do in this field is pick winners from a research perspective - funding solutions to going looking for problems is completely bass-akwards.

The most telling part of this article is where it notes that the food industry is now the most successful sector in the the UK - and has had no support from the industry promotion quango. Government support/subsidies do more to harm innovation than promote it because they gloss over the one critical aspect of innovation - if it doesn't result in something better and/or cheaper then it won't fly and if you need government support to make it, then it is almost by definition not cheaper and probably not better.

I appreciate that funds to build a prototype can often be hard to come by in the private sector, but funds from someone who is looking for a return are worth a lot more than funds from someone who just wants to tick all the boxes about how they have spent the money. As any recipient of government funds will confirm, the overriding concern of the funding body is that the funds are properly accounted for - not that they have been used to actually achieve a goal.

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Hillary's sysadmin left VNC, RDP exposed to the internet - report

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Re: Bah!

A US presidential election is fought almost entirely on the record and personal morals of the candidates. A former senior government appointee operating a non-governmental email account for government business, but also running this on a private server (however secure) is breaking a lot of rules. Yes, she is not the first (I understand Colin Powell did this - for a while and this was why the rules were re-iterated after he left), but this person is now running for president.

Furthermore, this person was not some government newbie, but someone who had been the First Lady for 8 years and so cannot reasonably claim not to have know the issues at hand or the consequences.

This is not a storm in a teacup, but goes straight to the issue of the fitness of this person to be president. This is why it is big news, and will continue to be big news while she is a candidate. Get used to it.

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FAA issues lithium battery warning

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Re: Lipos for cheap.

I just had a delay on a new 'phone being shipped from China. Was told the package was not approved in airline cargo with Li battery, but the "alternative route" came via Dutch post and the speed it arrived (following the on-line tracking) suggests it must have been a flight. I am left with the feeling that some airlines are getting into a spin, while others are more relaxed.

Oh yes, the 'phone battery was included inside the phone, but with the plastic isolator film still attached - how does this qualify? Is it a spare or not?

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FATTIES have most SUCCESS with opposite SEX! Have some pies and SCORE

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Re: BMI

"The last time my doctor had a good look at me (almost naked), she said I could do with having a bit more weight. I pointed out that my BMI was 23 and she went very quiet."

Exactly. BMI should be trashed as a measure of health and your doctor was embarrassed by having you point it out. It might have worked for 18-25 year old people 20 years ago, but it is completely inappropriate now. Even more so since the thresholds were dropped (yes, dropped not increased) in 2000. You would have been borderline underweight in 1999.

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Revealed: Why Amazon, Netflix, Tinder, Airbnb and co plunged offline

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What's going to happen?

Nothing. He has already retired with his stock options intact based on the 3-5 years of growth the company experienced after his decision.

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Visitors no longer welcomed to Scotland's 'Penis Island'

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With all due respect to Gaelic speakers...

This kind of thing makes a mockery of your language.

When you change the meaning of a word so completely with an accent then you are setting yourself up for misunderstanding. The purpose of written language is to be understood by those who read it. In the majority of cases accents are used to guide pronunciation - not meaning - for the well displayed reasons in this paper. Half of the mistranslations in biblical scripts are because the ancient Hebrew used accents above or below the general text to denote vowels - with the predictable results as the texts became old and the accents were lost in transcription by non-speakers.

I am sure there is some College of Gaelic scholars somewhere who are desperately working to "keep the language pure", but they are doing no good to keeping the language alive if they don't allow it to modernize.

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Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: El Reg on the hydrogen highway

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Re: Fuel tank rated to 10,000psi

Fuel cells are nice as very efficient and if H2 as an energy store is such a PITA, I always thought methanol was a suitable alternative source of the H. Yes, there will be some CO2 emission, but once we get over the demonization of plant food we can actually begin to think sensibly about alternative energy.

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Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

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Powder as H source?

Anyone know what the technology is for the H-producing powder?

A few years ago Sony were touting a methanol-refuelled fuel cell notebook battery with a cigarette-lighter sized refill. Liquid fuels are so much easier to handle, but a powder cartridge would work - although probably more expensive. Not sure if iPhone is a good target for this technology as nothing Apple ever lets you open it to replace a cartridge so it has to be a refuelling-via-port option.

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A dual-SIM smartphone in your hand beats two in the bush

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Re: Useful for travellers, both for business and pleasure

Spot on. Can't see myself ever going back to a single SIM 'phone for this very reason.

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ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini: The able Android smartie the company won't sell you

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Re: Dual sim

I've been using dual sim phones for a few years (Chinese Frankenphones) and they work absolutely fine. Receiving stuff is seamless - you may or may not know which line it is coming in from depending on software, but you don't have to so anything to set that up. You decide which sim to use when you make a call. send a text, connect to data or whatever. I am sure that you can also do this automatically as well, but that might be dependant on software. Bottom line, I have never had any connection issues (in about 9 or 10 countries around the world) and have many options for cheaper connectivity while travelling.

I pick up local PAYG SIM cards wherever I happen to be (these are a great deal in developing countries, just buy them on the street rather than buying them in the airport) and I have had some cards active for years now. I do sometimes get funny looks when I sit on the 'plane and open up my travel walleet and choose through 6 or 7 SIM cards, but I think that is getting less noticeable now as well. My Tesco card I use about once a year when I am back in the UK, but I have had this for years now. Just spent three weeks in the US where my T-Mobile card was great for data ($10 per week for unlimited) although calls and texts were still a bit expensive on that plan.

My current 'phone has one standard and one micro-SIM slot. I had a bad experience with using an adapter so I went with this as the best option on my last purchase. All my current 'travelling' SIM cars are the full-size ones, but I am sure you can get smaller ones now so I will probably not bother with this on my next 'phone.

I have even seen three SIM phones advertised (on DX.com or AliExpress), but I think that may be going a bit too far. Sometimes even this seems like a gimmick, but on quite a few occasions in the 5 or 6 years, have a local and international number has been very useful to me persomally and i don't think I will go back.

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

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Re: Actually sounds good.

I agree, but the important quote in the article said the rates had been pretty constant over the 10 year period studied - suggesting that the 'stupid' mistakes are not all that easy to correct. Needs a follow-up with yearly numbers to see what is (and is not) improving.

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7/7 memories: I was on a helpdesk that day and one of my users died

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Yeah, even my home town had a bomb in a waste-bin on a shopping street during the IRA campaign, No warning, no conceivable rationale for why a small town in the north-west of England merited a bomb - one kiddie died and another badly injured.

I don`t try to separate terrorists by gradation of their atrocities. When you attack random public targets, I really don`t give a shit for your politics.

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GM's cheaper-than-Tesla 'leccy car tested at batt-powered data centre

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Re: Use batteries in their data centre?

Not significant enough - canned in April with only 70,000 sold in 5 years.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-09/another-electric-car-bites-dust-chevy-volt-go-way-aztek

Should have been a good idea, but the price was ridiculous - even including the big govt. kickbak they were 40-50% more than comparable sized cars. Same with the prices quoted here $30k for a small sedan is not going to get many takers beyond those who want a status symbol and they can already buy a Tesla....

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The wonderful madness of metrics: Different things to different folk

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Re: Goodhart's law

The corollory to which is:

"people treasure what you measure"

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Jurassic World: All the meaty ingredients for a summer blockbuster

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Re: Wot!

But the "indian" owner has a British-Indian accent so it got past the censor.

When you know the dino's are coming, you can't do the suspense trick (water glass shaking), but if you can watch it in D-Box seats that shake with the action - dino footsteps work well in that case, as do the first person shooter scenes.

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Nude celeb iCloud hack: Feds seize Chicago man's computers

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Re: hmm

Or at least, use a camera and not your 'phone.

Smartphones are still - basically - a communication device with added recording functions. They desperately WANT to share everything that is stored on them with anyone they can contact - this is a feature not a bug people!

And to refer to your final point, this is probably why Hollywood types like them!

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Chips can kill: Official

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Non-problem

The Abstract to the report says this:

"The Panel concluded that the current levels of dietary exposure to AA are not of concern with respect to non-neoplastic effects. However, although the epidemiological associations have not demonstrated AA to be a human carcinogen, the margins of exposure (MOEs) indicate a concern for neoplastic effects based on animal evidence."

The levels given the Abstract for the BMDL10 (the dose where there is a 10% chance of any measurable effect) in mice were about 500 fold higher than the exposures listed as being experienced by people. Basically, if you eat about 100 times the amount of crisps or coffee that people usually do, you might be getting near the levels where there is some effect seen in rats. You also have to eat this much per day for a certain period of time - mice/rat studies can be as short as 14 days, but are commonly 28 days and above for chronic exposure studies.

It really doesn't take a lot of reading to find the real story, so can we tone down the "chips can kill" screaming?

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Gremlins in the first six months? It's the seller's problem – EU court

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The reason this case is notable is because this goes beyond national consumer protection legislation and "enshrines" in precedence the responsibility of the vendor. Yes, it may be moot in the UK (and probably most other countries), but national legislation is a different thing to ECJ case law and the critical factor here is the burden of proof - which now lies with the vendor to prove that the item was not at fault as opposed to the purchaser having the burden of proof.

You will also note that the actual case referred to a second-hand car purchase. Most consumer protection law refers to new items and has exemptions for pre-owned goods. This case seems to remove these exemptions from the vendors responsibility, thus extending the liability. As such, this is a very big deal for sectors such as the second hand car market and other vendors of pre-owned goods. Expect to see this challenged at some level.

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Google to extend Hyderabad office into first non-US campus

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Hyderabad = the new Bangalore?

That's all

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Oz battery bossmen: Fingers will be burned in the Tesla goldrush

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ZnBr - older than claimed

Not sure where Redflow are claiming ZnBr is only a few years old as this was being developed in Western Australia in the late 90's - 20 years ago now. That's not to say it has had the development time of Li, but it smacks a bit like the cellulosic ethanol story which has been "5 years away" from commercial release for the last 20 years!

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Is Grant Shapps being naughty on Wikipedia – or did a Lib Dem stitch him up?

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Re: We can see the edit history and discussion.

"Schapps has form in this area and (in my personal opinion) he is so untrustworthy that I don't really believe a word he says."

This is exactly the point Andrew is making - you are not using anything other than your own opinion to determine the truth in the absence of any evidence (previous actions are not evidence). You are perfectly entitled to do this and may very well be correct, but this is NOT how journalists are supposed to operate and especially not during an election campaign.

Journalists are expected to show a level of professional integrity, which is why they receive a certain amount of trust over an above other members of the public, including a different handling under the law with respect to naming sources etc. It is clear that many journalists are not living up to their responsibilities.

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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

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When is new technology ready for mission critical application?

I think this event does bring into focus the question of when is a technology mature/stable enough for mission critical applications. I remember people criticising NASA for using (supposedly) old processors in the shuttle, but there are a couple of points that I think are relevant from this case.

Firstly, the safety of the flights does not seem to have been compromised as the iPads were only being used to replace the paper versions of the flight documents. As such, the level to which this could be described as "mission critical" is up for discussion. Sure AA has been thrown into a spin, but the planes themselves haven't.

Secondly, how can you develop redundancy into systems which are - essentially - software dependant? The triple redundancy standard (used for much of aerospace) is based on the physical failure rates of independent components. If the issue was hardware, then having three iPads would suffice, but could you (would you?) apply triple redundancy to software? You would have to have three separately written programs in order to avoid the same bug being in all three systems. Is this feasible? And not just on a cost basis, but from a functional point of view could you get three systems to do exactly the same the same thing, but separately developed and separately operating?

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ICANN urges US, Canada: Help us stop the 'predatory' monster we created ... dot-sucks!

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Re: Still trying to work out

As commentard TeeCee said below:

"ICANN are a bit skint."

By selling rights to create new TLDs ICANN are earning money. I don't know whether they need that money to continue operating, but at the end of the day, they are being caught out by their own actions when the "wrong people" get involved.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

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Re: Cowards

But the reach of his newspaper column is an order of magnitude lower than his pulpit on Top Gear. That is the point - love him or hate him, he has a big following on Top Gear that he will find it hard to communicate with if/when he leaves/is kicked off.

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Our Endless Numbered Days, Junk DNA and Exotic England

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Poorly explained

For the author of this review to say this:

"Carey goes on to state that the human genome contains 20,000 protein coding genes, so I guess that makes 980,000 of the junk variety"

implies that Carey has actually done a poor job of explaining things. The 98% non-protein coding DNA is - by definition - non-gene DNA so there are not "980,000 [genes] of the junk variety".

The book is about junk DNA so surely the difference between coding and non-coding DNA should have been made at the start. That the Reg journo missed this implies that the book is not actually all that well-written....

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Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

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Yes, but...

that is not how it is being promoted nor how it is being implemented. Packet equality is the the rallying cry and this is what appears to be being done in the US by putting internet connections under the telephone connection regulations.

The fact that the rules are passed before anyone (technically literate) gets to see them is just the kind of clusterfuck in the making that governments are known for. I am thankful that I don't have a connection critical aspect to my work, because I can see this going rather badly as it develops.

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Think you’re hard? Check out the frozen Panasonic CF-54 Toughbook

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Re: Ouch

With specific reference to Thinkpads vs Toughbooks, my sister-in-law works on mine sites in South America and did actually kill her Thinkpad pretty quickly (turned out to be dust and llama fur in the fan), but the Toughbook is still going strong. It might be correct to say that you can get many Thinkpads for one Toughbook in capital costs, but figure in the cost of downtime for non-working computers and it is a no-brainer. It is referred to as "horses for courses".

I was happy as I got to play laptop surgeon and replaced the cooling system (quite an involved job, but cool when there is no pressure) and with a re-install the Thinkpad is now the heart of the home entertainment system, even if it doesn't get to go to Bolivia any more.

As a side note, the carrying handle has serious utility in these situations as well as good cachet with mining engineers!

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Opera Jon weaves a brand new browser

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Phew!

I thought I was the only person still using 12! I had to resurrect my old-old PC to find the installation files when I got the newest one as I had (foolishly) installed directly at my last upgrade. Never again!

I have to admit I do use Chrome a lot now as 12 is clunking along, but I never considered myself a power user, just someone who wanted to use a quick simple browser the way that I wanted - not the way someone else thought I "should" use it

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DANGER: Is that 'hot babe' on Skype a sextortionist?

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Re: Know your target

These are probably overseas students who have been scoped out in advance as being from richer parents and who are much more likely to be punished by parents rather than just simply embarrassed if their videos are distributed on-line.

As noted below, the initial approach is via Facebook to get to know the mark - and the women is referred to with an asian name. I think this is quite a sophisticated scam and has probably netted them quite a few people ready to pay up - as opposed to the three listed here who refused.

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If Europe is against US's Irish email grab, it must pipe up now

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Let's get this straight.

A US judge granted a warrant for emails of a suspected drug dealer. This is not a data grab or some underhanded spying, but a search warrant for electronic data limited to a specific individual. The warrant was used to request the data from Microsoft - presumable as the email account was held with them.

Microsoft must have then refused to provide the information and their defense was that the data was held in Ireland. At which point the US judge then said 'doesn't matter because you are a US company' and now lots of US companies are saying this will damage their business.

Now, forgive me for being somewhat dense here, but are they saying that their business relies on hiding information from a legitimately granted and served search warrant? I know everyone just loves to jump up and down about illegal data grabs by whatever security service is the flavour of the month, but that is not what is going on here.

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Toyota to Tesla: we can play the free patent game as well

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Although Hydrogen might be a poor fuel option, methanol is not. Methanol fuel cells are already in use in small scales and provide the advantages of a high energy density liquid fuel with the low emissions of a fuel cell. The rectifier needed to produce Hydrogen from the methanol does take some of the energy, but this is made up for by removing the need for a pressure vessel to store the hydrogen. The water needed to dilute the methanol for rectification is recycled.

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American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

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Puddings...

are very bomb-shaped, as well as being nicely impervious to the X-rays!

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Ex-GCHQ boss: Hey, UK.gov, have you heard how crap iPhone biometrics are?

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But biometrics are much better than nothing

Let's face it, most of us don't use pin code locks on out 'phones because it is very to keep puting them in every time we need to look at the damm thing (5-10 times an hour?). OK, so we are 'too fecking lazy', but that doesn't alter the fact that it would be good to have something simpler and easier.

Now fingerprint readers are a quick easy way for MOST of us to unlock a 'phone and while I would not store state secrets with just this, how many people who handle stolen phones are going to have the capacity to copy/spoof the fingerprint reader? We don't all have state secrets on our 'phones and a fingerprint reader to unlock them makes more sense that nothing.

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'How a censorious and moralistic blogger ruined my evening'

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When did Uber become the establishment?

What is interesting (to me at any rate) is that what I have seen is that Uber is the upstart being "attacked' by the entrenched powers that be (various city transport agencies - egged on by their existing taxi unions no doubt). As such, are they the target of paid-for dirt-digging themselves?

While this (possibly drunk) exec should be disciplined/dumped and the preciousness of this guy Wolff is just priceless, I wonder how altruistic the journos digging into Uber are themselves....

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Has Switzerland cracked the net neutrality riddle?

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Thank you...

... for a very clear overview of the problem. I particularly like how you have emphasized the way the argument has morphed - even among the commentards here there is no agreement on what "net neutrality" actually means and now that we have lawmakers involved, I shudder to think how the vested interests will drive the argument. The best we can hope for is a legislative inertia big enough to outlast governments of whatever stripe.

What we have on the - mostly - unregulated internet seems to me like democracy: the worst form of government - except for all of the alternatives. Yes we complain, yes we are grumpy, but we get access to things we never imagined possible at speeds which were science fiction just a few years ago.

My handle here is my CompuServe ID. I first signed up 25 years ago when I bought a 2400 bps modem and moved to Australia. My cable connection now regularly delivers 80-100 Mbps. Does that mean that I never get interruptions in streaming video or slow downloads? No, of course not, but the fact that I can host a web conference with multiple clients across two continents from my home is an incredible level of progress that should not be under-estimated.

In the interests of not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I think we should all just settle down here and think whether anything really is so broken that we want to let government regulators in here with their "fix".

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If only 0.006% care about BLOOD-SOAKED METAL ... why are we spending all this cash?

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Re: @AC

There have been a number of reports recently (from development charities I think) which have pointed out that "fairtrade" plantations have not resulted in improved working conditions for workers as they have prevented investments in increased productivity. [I use "fairtrade" loosely as there are a plethora of different standards groups out there plonking their labels on stuff (for a fee) after imposing rules on producers.]

What is not in dispute is that "fairtrade" type labels are still only on a minority of products on the shelves, but at the same time there has been a noted attention paid to workers rights/conditions by many of the larger suppliers (think big coffee and chocolate suppliers) so the industry has taken some of the demand on-board even if they have not bought in to any of the labelling initiatives. Whether this is ethical considerations, marketing or simply because of increased sophistication of production systems requiring better skilled/educated (and therefore better paid) employees is a matter for further discussion. I think this is what Tim is detailing here - major producers will focus on these things even if they are not forced into it as at some stage it costs more to employ "slaves".

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Lenovo still ‘not satisfied’ despite MEGA PROFIT rise

100113.1537

Thinkpads still quality kit

On my third Thinkpad since Lenovo bought them from Big Blue and I have to say that it is still good quality kit for business travel. I was worried that they would drop this line (or lose the business focus), but so far it is fine. They have just changed their docking connector so I needed a new station with the last one, but as long as they don't do this again for another couple of model upgrades I can't really complain.

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